Naloxone program gains approval in Tompkins County

Tompkins County officials authorized the Department of Emergency Response to partner with other organizations in creating a naloxone distribution and training program.

A resolution to establish the program passed by a unanimous vote at a Tompkins County Legislature meeting Tuesday.

According to the measure, the ready availability of naloxone “will improve safety of our workforce and help make naloxone a life-saving fixture throughout the county.”

The Department of Emergency Response will work with other agencies, department and community partners to establish and maintain the distribution and training program within county facilities.

The naloxone program will be incorporated in the already existing AED/CPR health and safety program throughout county facilities and will be fully implemented in all facilities by the end of the year, officials said.

“The best solution we came up with was to put them in all of our AED defibrillator boxes,” Legislator Shawna Black, D-Town of Ithaca, said.

Southern Tier AIDS Program or the Alcohol and Drug Council will provide Narcan and training to county employees, Black said.

The program will extend established protocols of the Departments of Probation, Mental Health, and Social Services, and the Sheriff’s Office, which have already acquired naloxone, expanding capabilities to other county departments and facilities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated more than 66,000 people died by overdose in 2017, the resolution stated. Over two thirds of these fatalities are opioid-related deaths, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

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